My dad had colon cancer about 2 years ago, ten months ago he had 2 units of blood for low blood volume. I have lived and cared for him for 8 months and last week he became pale, weak, and lost his appetite.within a day and a half he became grayish yellow and was taken to the ER. he was severely anemic.After 4 pints of Blood and many test they said that his platlets were low and his spleen was enlarged. They also found a mass in his abdomen but did nothing about that yet. he underwent many tests, ct scan, upper gi, and colonoscopy , they removed polups from his esophagus and sent them for biopsy.no bleed was found. after 5 days at the hospital his Doc told me sometimes enough was enough. He has refered my dad to an Oncologist, haemotologist and stated that he believed that he had leukemia. My dad is 76 and seems to be still very weak since he returned home. What is the prognosis of someone with advanced age and these symptoms? I dont know what I can expect and would like to know how advanced is it when your spleen is affected, any answers would be helpful?
hi, that's probably too general to answer. Your doc probably figures that your father isn't producing Red Blood Cells because the cells that should be producing them in his marrow are crowded out by leukemia cells. (That'd be in the absence of an alternative reason that the RBCs are being somehow destroyed.)
A bone marrow biopsy should be able to tell one way or another.
That said, different types of leukemia would have a different prognosis. One main problem, as you suspect, is that a person who is already weakened might not fare well under chemo. But age itself might not be as big an impediment as you might initially think.
Involvement of the spleen might be an early symptom. Blood cancers are different from others, in that the cells are travelling through the blood or lymph system anyway... so staging isn't as relevant.
The patient's attitude can make a difference, too.
Also, some docs want to throw in the towel earlier than others.
Are you aware of hospice and home hospice?
Be aware that caregivers often come down with health problems themselves, as a result of the stress, etc.
I hope this reply might help somewhat. Good wishes to you and your dad.
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